Kiren Rijiju’s official designation is Minister of State for Home in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet. His responsibilities include assisting Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in overseeing the internal security of India.
However, the minister has now become synonymous to his frequent utterances against those not toeing the ideologies of his party, the BJP, or critics of his government’s policies.
In the ongoing controversy over violence by the RSS’s students’ wing, the ABVP, the minister has once again shown incredible haste in taking side in favour those having allegedly broken the law.
Far from showing remorse on the brutalities committed by Delhi Police, the minister appeared more keen on teaching his political adversaries a lesson on nationalism. The Delhi Police, which reports to the Centre’s Modi government through Rijiju’s ministry, has already admitted ‘unprofessional’ behaviour by cops during the Ramjas College violence.
Soon after the Ramjas College violence, Rijiju had said, “We should not convert any college into anti-India hub. We shouldn’t make statements, which will harm national interest. We have fundamental rights but fundamental duties are also there to be adhered to.”
In other words, India’s junior home minister appeared to condone the violence against the left-leaning AISA students by ABVP members because the former’s protests were deemed anti-national activities.
On Monday, when social media experienced a widespread outrage over rape threats being issued to Kargil martyr’s daughter, Gurmehar Kaur, for opposing the ABVP, the minister, suffering from foot-in-mouth syndrome, once again felt it necessary to side with the perpetrators and not the girl victim.
He tweeted, “Who’s polluting this young girl’s mind? A strong Arm Force prevents a war. India never attacked anyone but a weak India was always invaded.”
Who's polluting this young girl's mind? A strong Arm Force prevents a war. India never attacked anyone but a weak India was always invaded. https://t.co/gXHkAGi9sh
— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) February 27, 2017
Astonishingly, the minister of an elected government made these comments while sharing the tweet of Bollywood actor, Randeep Hooda, who had, in essence, appreciated Gurmehar’s public bullying by former India cricketer, Virender Sehwag.
Congress wasted no time in condemning Rijiju by calling him ‘goofy minister.’
Congress’s Sandeep Dikshit told ANI, “Whatever happened between AISA and ABVP should not be subjected to an act of anti-nationalism. Sometimes, Kiren Rijiju speaks like a ‘goofy minister’, neither he went there nor he is able to comprehend anything. Similarly in the past he had branded some JNU students as anti nationals. Just because the protest was against the government doesn’t mean they should be dubbed as anti-national.”
Rijiju joing the gang of alleged bully against the daughter of Kargil martyr also assumes significance in light of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s claims on championing women’s rights in India.